Artifact Concept Pluralism

Dialectica (forthcoming)
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Abstract

We have a rough idea of what artifacts are: artifacts are objects made to serve a certain purpose. However, there is no consensus on how to specify this definition. Essentialists argue that objects are grouped into artifact kinds by sharing non-trivial artifact essences, while anti-essentialists argue that there is no such essence to be found. However, the prominent essentialist and anti-essentialist accounts suffer from extensional and definitional problems. I argue that the problems current essentialist and anti-essentialist accounts face mainly stem from the assumption of artifact concept monism. According to artifact concept monism, there is only a single way to group objects into artifact kinds. To remedy the problems that stem from artifact concept monism, this paper offers an alternative framework by drawing parallels from the debates on species concept pluralism and art concept pluralism.

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Alper Güngör
McGill University

Citations of this work

On the social nature of artefacts.Tim Juvshik - 2024 - Theoria 89 (6):910-932.

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References found in this work

Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
The structure of objects.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Functions.Larry Wright - 1973 - Philosophical Review 82 (2):139-168.

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